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Found 21 results

  1. Pho Nom Nom, out Rockville Pike is a bit of a drive but so worth it. Best Pho around!
  2. This place has been open for about a year, across Annandale Road from Anthony's. I stopped in for the first time yesterday for a quick lunch. The website http://www.leesandwiches.com/main.php?act=storegroup&catid=84 shows it is a chain/franchise, and the Falls Church location is the only one in Virginia. The menu is divided into two sections, European sandwiches and Asian sandwiches. Plus they have a selection of house brand coffee beans, macarons ($1.99 each), a variety of pastries, and a sign that says they make fresh baguettes every hour. The outside signage says open 24-7-365, but signs were posted inside that they're going to a 7 am. - midnight time schedule now. It was a little later than standard lunchtime, but I was the only Caucasian person in the place. A couple of Hispanic blue collar guys picked up orders, and the rest of the clientele was Asian. You order at the counter and there's plenty of seating. The menu was a little confusing, but the gentleman working the counter was very helpful, asking first if I wanted European or Asian, and then if I wanted a hot or cold sandwich. I said hot, and he listed the numbers of the hot sandwiches (the menu board showed the various meats/ingredients per sandwich) to help me narrow it down. I went Asian with a basic pork banh mi and some iced tea. The sandwich came out very quickly, and I thought it was good. The baguette was nicely crusty on the outside and not too spongy on the interior. The ingredients were bright and looked & tasted very fresh. The marinade on the pork was a little sweeter and more forward than at DC 50, and they used a moderate amount of mayo instead of a big glop, which I prefer. The iced tea was made with green tea. For $7.20 all in, a tasty lunch and fairly priced. I think I would give it a slight edge over DC 50 Sandwich on this particular day, mostly due to the very good bread.
  3. The other day, I tried the meatball (xiu mai) banh mi at Kim Phung bakery. I usually get my baguettes there but they give me the stink eye when I just buy a couple of baguettes. Verdict: not bad. The meatballs tasted okay but they were cold. They put the meatballs in the baguette and then into the toaster oven for a while. Then they add the veggies and sauce. However that just warms up the bread, but the meatballs are still cold. When I got home, I took the meatballs out and microwaved them and put them back in the sandwich. Much better that way. I really like their baguettes. Some other banh mi places use what seems to be supermarket sub rolls.
  4. Lemongrass Food Truck Banh Mi is lackluster. The roast pork has the red sheen that Asian roast pork typical has, but I'm going to assume its just food coloring, because otherwise the pork has little flavor. The pickled carrot and daikon just tastes sweet. The roll is supermarket quality similar to something you can buy at Giant or Safeway. At least the cilantro is fresh. At $8 it's not worth the money. Sorry for the crappy photo.
  5. It's a little far to Uber to, but may I suggest Pho Binh on White Oak in the Houston Heights?
  6. Great lunch today at Nam Eatery in the Heights. This is a clean (both in terms of sanitation and in decor), brightly lit joint with an unfortunate "umsa-umsa" dance music soundtrack playing. We had just finished a school tour with the 3-year old, and despite the hot & humid weather, he opted for the child's-sized pho with meatballs and a homemade passion fruit limeade. The pho was a great size (I would love to be able to order that size so I could sample other dishes), and comes out bare, ready to be dressed at the "pho vegetables" station up front (complete with hoisin and a few different chili and sauce options). I'd give the broth a 7/10. Light and clear, but with a reasonable depth of flavor. I look forward to comparing and contrasting with other places around town. The limeade was delicious, and I'll have to dig deeper into the long list of fruit teas and smoothies they offer. My banh mi with house paté and 2 over easy fried eggs was great, made even better with a schmear of smoky chili paste taken from the sauce selection. The baguette was appropriately light and crispy. I originally ordered the "combination," with steamed pork roll and cold cuts, but they no longer serve it because "no one ever ordered it." For shame, Houstonians. For shame. Cristina's "shaking tofu" vermicelli bowl was fantastic, with nicely fried cubes of tofu, sautéed onion and halved garlic cloves, along with the typical vegetable accompaniments. The fish sauce accompaniment was delicious, though a little less acidic than I'm used to. Not a complaint, just an observation. A shared shrimp "spring roll" was a fresh, herb-packed roll I've more often seen called a "summer roll," served with the standard peanut sauce for dipping. Nothing life-changing here, but a fine rendition. Given its proximity to our new house, Nam will assuredly be in the rotation, and I look forward to further exploring the menu. (Also, bring back the combination banh mi! I'll order it.)
  7. Last week, I got this tweet from Jonathan Copeland: Although I had largely forgotten about it, somewhere in the recesses of my brain, it resided, because I was thirty-minutes early for an appointment in Falls Church today, and - <blink> - I remembered. I didn't remember who sent it, and I didn't remember the name of the restaurant; merely that someone I trusted had mentioned good Banh Mi in Eden Center - I pulled in. I wasn't at all sure which restaurant it was, and there has been *so much* changeover in this shopping center in the past six months that Saigon West is borderline unrecognizable. I waffled a bit, then headed into Banh Ta, and as soon as I walked in, I thought to myself, 'This *must* be the place.' Banh Ta is a tiny little pillbox boutique, just a few stores down from the outstanding Thanh Son Tofu, which has the best tofu I've found in the DC area. Despite being just a counter, it's very upscale looking, with market goods and an atmosphere that reminds me of a smaller version of the incredible Phu Quy Deli Delight. If you haven't been to Thanh Son Tofu or Phu Quy Deli Delight: GO! I ordered a #1, Pork Belly (Bah Mi Thit ??, $4), the ?? being on the sign in the first link in the previous paragraph, and absolutely indecipherable by me and my illiterate Vietnamese (my apologies to native speakers - any guidance will be much appreciated). It's no secret that I haven't exactly been blown away by DC-area Banh Mi - in fact, the only ones I've had that I even consider "good" have been somewhat Americanized (Dickson Wine Bar and the underrated and under-appreciated Ba Bay). Until today, that is. Thanks to Jonathan's recommendation, I've now had what I believe to be the first authentic Banh Mi that I can say, with my European-influenced palate, and with an absolutely clear conscience, is *really, really good*! You don't even need a second one to fill up on, as the size is ample, so both qualitatively and quantitatively, we have ourselves a front runner in the local Banh Mi wars - you could say, if you valued bad puns more than honorable use of language, that this Banh Mi, won me. These three storefronts in Eden Center are less than 100 yards away from each other, and justify a special excursion to experience. I am - *finally* - sold on the merits of this sandwich, and I suspect that in Vietnam, it gets even better than this. Absolutely initialized in Italic in the East Falls Church section of the Virginia Dining Guide, and I'm very much looking forward to a repeat visit, thanks to the recommendation of Jonathan Copeland.
  8. Zora, I just had a #10 ($3.75) at the replacement for Song Que - it wasn't quite the same, featuring huge pieces of raw white onion and raw jalapeí±o. That said, it probably had the best baguette of any banh mi I've had in the immediate area, so all is not lost - I picked off the onion and jalapeí±o and enjoyed it very much. As silly as it might sound, I didn't even get the restaurant's name, but it has the same structure and format. However, my beloved coconut water (the best I've ever had that wasn't ultra-fresh or didn't cost more than $10) was ... gone from the refrigerator case! I suspect a lot of the previous workers are remaining here, so it hasn't changed as much as you might think, yet.
  9. This is kind of exciting: ARLNow is reporting that paperwork has been filed that shows Four Sisters Grill will be taking over the space last occupied by Fatshorty's.
  10. Reporting on Le Bledo made me think of it. There is a quick-e-mart type Vietnamese store in Centreville that sells Banh Minh called Park and Shop. It is by the 7-11 on 29 near the bowling alley. The sandwiches are 3.50 and are made on fresh baked bread. Worth a try if you are in need of a snack and you are in the area. In fact, they sell the bread for a quarter a roll in a huge box up front. I've been known to pick up several, an onion, a pepper and some frozen sliced rib eye and make some KILLER cheesesteaks.
  11. I couldn't find a thread for Sprig & Sprout up here in Glover Park, but I think it warrants one. S&S is a fine addition to the Wisconsin Ave. strip of restaurants, and actually is putting out some pretty quality bowls of pho and vermicelli. The pho here is what I would characterize as pretty good in a pinch if I don't have time/the desire to go to Pho Viet or somewhere in the burbs. The beef is flavorful, the noodles nicely al dente, and most importantly, the broth is satisfying and lacks that cloying aftertaste the broth at cheap pho joints has. Additionally, their vermicelli has become my go-to summer dish. Packed with really fresh veggies and a healthy dose of mint, the dish's refreshing coolness cuts through DC's classic humidity. They apparently have a strong beer list, which is unusual for a Vietnamese place, and one day, when I have a bit more time to kill for dinner, I'll work through their beer list (has some favorites from Bell's, for example). I'm happy with this addition to the neighborhood as it provides a nice, fresh option for lunch or dinner, and the space is as open and warm as the owners and staff.
  12. Did we really not have a thread on this place? I just read this on Todd Kliman's June 4th chat: It's always useful to calibrate your palate to your favorite critic's, so if you think this sandwich at Bí¡nh Mi DC Sandwich is perhaps the best sandwich, of any type, in the entire DC area, then you've got your critic.
  13. In newer news in Old Town, on Cameron Street just west of N. Royal, is a new-ish Vietnamese restaurant, Caphe Bahn Mi. Spotted it last week on my way back to the office from lunch, so made a point to go there today and try it out. There is seating for about 25 or so people, very simple decor and pleasant inside. Two young women were running the place, the one with the lighter hair was doing the cooking and the darker haired one took care of the FOH work. The menu has about five items under each category, and they are typically a pork , a chicken, a lemongrass, a garlic beef, and a shrimp or tofu prep. Most of the folks in the restaurant were having pho, but I knew with my time constraints today and the blouse I was wearing, pho was much too dangerous to eat (unless I went to the hair salon next door and got a big plastic cape to wear). Bahn mi are $5-$6, salads run $7-$10, entrees $8-10, pho is $8+ extras. I ended up getting the pork vermicelli with vegan imperial roll ($9) and a ginger soda ($3). The roll was very good -- rolled in cornmeal before frying for some added texture, but soooo hot when first served that unfortunately I had to spit the first bite out into a napkin before I burned my mouth. Note to self: imperial roll is best saved for the latter half of the meal! Once I tried it at edible temperature, I liked the texture, it wasn't greasy, it was very crisp and the filling was tasty and good texture, although it was a bit one-note, taste wise. Still, except for the too-hot bite, I made sure I finished it. It arrived with the entree on a long oval plate with a dipping pool at one end with the typical sweet-sour sauce, and the meat plated on top of the vermicelli on one-half of the plate with julienned carrots and cukes served on lettuce. No basil to be seen. Fish sauce and sriacha at the table. The pork was very flavorful and cooked until still a bit pale pink in the very center (I thought it perfect; my Mom would have sent it back b/c it retained a little pinkness and she is old school about overcooking pork). Noodles were fine as well. Overall, the cooking was done well, the veg was fresh, and I thought the pork had a nice grilled flavor. I'll definitely be back to try the pho.
  14. It opened last week. They're going to be making their bread in-house for the banh mi, but that hasn't started yet. They have 3 sizes of pho, the largest of which is scarily enormous. I didn't feel up to eating there when I drove by, but did grab an iced Vietnamese coffee. It was very sweet and tasted exactly like coffee-flavored Nips hard candy. I was excited to see they also have salty plum, and lime drinks, as well as che on the menu.
  15. I just realized this little gem of a Vietnamese place did not have its own listing in the Dining Guide, just a few passing mentions in other categories. Because the establishments that dot this plaza apparently are all closing as part of a construction project, I figured now was a good time to pay tribute. Coming in the door, the first thing you see is the bakery. A wide assortment of cakes and sweets are on display, and a book of cake decorations is available to order from. To the right are prepared foods, and I scored some rolls with pork sausage and a fine dipping sauce from the table. The case and the refrigerator have a goodly assortment of pork buns and jars of various vegetables and pickles. To the left is the seating area, with a nice looking buffet of about 8 options, including Don't favorite everything meatballs, pork cutlets, pig belly in sauce and a few other tempting delights. I noticed that most of the diners were indigenous, always a good sign, and a noticed quite a few polished-off bowls of pho with some deeply brown broth left in the bottom of one bowl. I had the combination banh mi, which for $2.75 included ham, head cheese and pate, along with maybe the least industrial bun I've had with banh mi in memory. This was an overall better combination banh mi than the dozen or more I've eaten at DC Sandwich. The aforementioned pork spring rolls were 3 to a pack, loaded with vermicelli, lettuce, shredded veggies and disks of pork sausage, with a tangy-sweet peanut dipping sauce. The pack was about $4.50, and the total with the banh mi and tax was $7.61. I'm stuffed to the gills. Out of fear that it may close or relocated sometime soon, I will put it in my near term rotation and make sure it gets a steady flow of revenue. But as long as it's open, there is absolutely no need to run to Falls Church for my banh mi fix.
  16. This is a few weeks late, but we visited Dickson Wine Bar at 9th & U, across from Nellie's a couple weeks ago for their soft opening. The wines are all organic, from around the world. There were a couple reds that the 3 of us liked, but alas its been 10+ days since our visit & I don't recall them. The menu's a mix of charcuterie, bahn mi sandwiches, flat breads and other small dishes. (I'm linking to Metrocurean's pic of the sandwich, which she posted on Twitter.) Since the food was free during the soft opening, I'll wait to return as a paying customer to give a review. But, the lardo is worth commenting on now. It was great, and reminded me of a Parisian restaurant last year. Thin slices, served with costini, sides of pickles & nuts. The space is split into 3 levels. You enter on the 2nd floor thru a door beneath the old Dickson Building sign, which they wisely kept & took as the name. Inside, the 3 small levels are dark, with candles & a wall of backlit empty wine bottles. Downstairs still awaits its bottles, but I bet the customers can drink their way thru a wall's worth pretty quickly if the foods as good as it all sounds on the menu. From some of the seats, you can even watch Nellie's big screens across the street... so while enjoying the chill vibe of Dickson, you can sneak a peak at the Final Four next week.
  17. Go back to Eden Center and try the sandwiches at Banh Mi So 1. They bake baguettes fresh all day long which makes a huge difference in the sandwiches. Compared with the bread used at Song Que, the fresh baguettes are longer and thinner, like a ficelle. The end result is a nice balance of bread and filling.
  18. A visit to Nhu Lan, which is hidden among the innards of the shopping center revealed a just okay banh mi, in my opinion. It was warm, and the pate was solid. But I don't get why all these places use the same crappy sub rolls from the school cafeteria. They're way too wide and you end up having to move the filling around or take multiple bites across to get at at all the flavors. Narrower, more caramelized bread is the way to go. Given how large a proportion of the sandwich is bread, it should be taken more into consideration.
  19. A visit to the doctor yesterday gave me an excuse to visit my favorite Vietnamese carryout. Now, it's probably not as good as the places in the Eden Center, but Ba Le is cheap, good, and until we moved in August, was a half mile from my house. The have a dozen sandwich varieties, plus soups, noodles, and rice dishes. Bahn mi are $2.50 each, or 5 for $10. Nothing on the rest of the menu is more than $8.25. My standard order is the combination sandwich (headcheese, pate, & ham with plenty of pickled veg, cilantro, and sliced chilis) and an iced coffee, but I have sampled some of the rice and noodle plates on occasion and been favorably impressed. The grilled lemongrass pork sandwich is also very good. Their decor used to be grim, but they have recently spiffed it up with new tile and more tables, and they now accept credit cards. Ba Le Vietnamese Deli 842-A Rockville Pike Rockville, MD 20852 301-294-7808 (It's conveniently located in the same block as the MoCo liquor store, right across from the Wintergreen shopping center)
  20. I have just discovered the wonderfulness of Vietnamese subs - Bahn Mi. Oh my goodness! The crunchy vegetables, that perfumed meat, those spicy jalapenos moistend with a slightly sweet, somewhat tangy velvety smooth sauce!!! Had my first (and 2nd & third) from a market-carryout on Georgia Avenue (it has a back entrance from Wheaton Triangle - sorry don't have a name). They sell them for $2 a pop (buy 5 get 1 free) and I am addicted. Their pork belly looks pretty rightous too but we haven't tried it yet. Iwill be back.
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